Patrick Brantseg is a set builder, prop master, puppeteer, and occasional actor who worked and appeared on Mystery Science Theater 3000. He took over the role of Gypsy after Jim Mallon stepped down in 1997.
In 1992, Patrick Brantseg saw an ad in the paper for an intern at a local TV production company and applied for a position at Best Brains.
"I was sort of aware of the show," he recalls. "I remember seeing it and hearing about it in the KTMA days and I remember thinking what a neat thing it was. But I had never seen an episode all the way through."
Brantseg quickly made himself indispensible around BBI and "kinda hit it off" with Toolmaster Jef Maynard. "After the internship was up, Jef kept hiring me on part-time, and then finally I got a full-time job."
His title, in a place where people were known by such titles as "poobah" and "toolmaster," was "utility infielder," which meant he did a little bit of everything. But his favorite job was building sets and making props. "I enjoy sculpting and painting, since I've got an artistic background."
Brantseg already had artistic leanings a decade earlier when he "almost successfully completed two years" at the University of Minnesota, "doing very well in art classes and not so well in other things." Looking back on it, he quips, "I think there was an attitude problem -- the teachers', not mine."
More seriously, Brantseg admits that at that age he was "not ready to learn," and that it took him a few years before he decided to return to school, this time to Minneapolis Technical College, where he graduated with top grades. "I was ready to learn," he notes.
Patrick was several times tapped to play small parts during host segments. His debut appearance was in episode 521-Santa Claus, in which he played a member of the taciturn Nelson family. Another highlight was episode 613-The Sinister Urge, when he played Rooster (and episode 614-San Francisco International, when he reprised the role). He says one of his favorite appearances was in episode 616-Racket Girls, when he, along with Mary Jo Pehl and Paul Chaplin, played a family of curious visitors to Deep 13.
After moving to the Sci-Fi Channel, Patrick popped up from the floor of the SOL as "Pale Day Player #1" in episode 803-The Mole People, and was inside the big blue monster that ate Crow in episode 804-The Deadly Mantis. But his largest role was in episode 813-Jack Frost, when he worked very hard to be intentionally unfunny as comedian Yakov Smirnoff.
"That one was a lot of fun," he says. "The biggest problem was that I tried to research the part a bit and couldn't find anything about him! Finally, a friend of mine from Springfield, Missouri, sent me some promotional material on him. Apparently he's still a regular at the Osmond Family Theater in Branson."
- Gypsy (1997-1999)
- Nelson family son - Santa Claus
- Rooster - The Sinister Urge, San Francisco International
- Tourist - Racket Girls
- Party-goer - The Beast of Yucca Flats
- Pale Day Player - The Mole People
- Big Blue Monster - The Deadly Mantis
- Yakov Smirnoff - Jack Frost
- Roman Day Player - Devil Doll, Invasion of the Neptune Men
- Roman Soldier - Space Mutiny
- Patrick the Cheese Factory Dude - Time Chasers
- Villager (voice) - The Phantom Planet
- Brian - The Pumaman
- Lacks the Phone Guy - The Space Children
- Norm - Devil Fish
- Delivery Man - The Screaming Skull
- Fred "Eggs" Eggleston - Quest of the Delta Knights
- Goosio (puppetry) - Final Justice
- Mikey the Mike Sprite and Mike's Socksy the Sprite - Squirm